Thursday, 29 March 2012

Its a wrap!

I had such fun making buttons for Donna Flower out of some of her amazing vintage cottons. There was a superb mix of ditsy prints from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Donna is making a great job of identifying and naming them all in the new Button Department  of her shop that I'm sure they will be on every fabric lovers wish list.

But what to do with the fabric scraps left over? Button machines - even Little Arthur- show no mercy when it comes to munching their way through fabric and the scraps left behind are akward and uneven sizes. I couldn't part with them however and so I got to wrapping.....
Ghost Lampshade frames from FollyandGlee Fabric from Donna Flower
Yep there is nothing new in the idea of wrapping a "ghost" lamp shade frame. I did a little round up here on the blog sometime ago of some inspirational ideas but I'd never had a go myself.

Lampshade frames from FollyandGlee

Obviously "Ghost" lamp shade frames make the perfect stucture for a beautiful mobile but take the right precautions and there is no reason why you can't use one as a fully functioning lampshade on a floor or table lamp or as a ceiling pendant.

Tulip Frame from FollyandGlee
Here are a few thoughts if you are planning to have a go.
  • I wound a  narrow double sided adhesive tape around the frame. The top pull away top tape stayed in place until I was ready to wrap that section. It gave me a great adhesive surface for the fabric to stick to smoothly without any mess what so ever. It made joining in and finishing ends of fabric a doddle with no bulky knots  to tie. I would reccomend a tape that is heat resistant and "resistant to plasticizers"  ie sticks well to the plastic coating of the wire frame.
  • Don't take any risks and do treat the fabric you use for wrapping the frame with a Fire Retardant Spray. There are lots of the market and a little goes a long way. They won't stain the fabric and are quick to dry. Look out for the fire retardant spray most suited to the type of fabric you use ie cotton or manmade fibres.
  • Be sensible about the bulb you use in your shade. Use low voltage light bulbs which do not get so hot yet emit as much light as normal bulbs. Also make sure that there is enough distance between the center of the bulb and the shade - the so-called "critical radius".  The smaller and steeper sided the shade the more important it is to ensure there is enough clearance and that you are using a low wattage bulb. Personally in a fabric wrapped shade I will only be using compact fluorescent light bulb - not only do they last 8 times or more longer they are a lot less of a fire risk because they give off far less heat for the same equivalent wattage as a conventional light bulb. 

FollyandGlee Lampshade 42mm holder and adaptor 28mm

  • Make sure you are using a lamp shade frame and a bulb holder that fit one another. I had a horrible experience some time ago having rescued an old but beautifully shaped shade that needed recovering. After many hours of work I had a great shade but being an older one it had the old UK standard aperture fitting but I had bought at some expense the newer European standard lampholders  with coloured flex. I had no way to hang my shade. Aaaaaah. FollyandGlee lampshade frame have a European 42mm fitting as standard but all come with a removeable converter to the old 28mm just in case!

  • If you'd like to add some extra bits to your wrapped shade _ I added butterflies and flowers - to this one for my niece - do make them out of a fire retardant material or just back them with one. I cut the butterfly templates out of lampshade laminate or PVC which is self adhesive so it was easy to add some gorgeous vintage fabric.

  • Lastly this is one occasion when you can really go to town on what fabric you use. Personally I really enjoyed mixing the colours up but I did stick with similar dress weight cottons for this one. They were all left over scraps from the button project but you can buy "patchwork" offcuts and scraps from Donna Flower in the "quilters corner".
I have one or two more versions in the pipeline which...with the help of some other very craft folk....I hope to show you soon.

Happy wrapping!

1 comment:

  1. They are just so lovely, thank you for sharing your tips..x



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